Manage railways better Instead of bullet trains

Manage railways better Instead of bullet trains

Manage railways better Instead of bullet trains

BJP ally Shiv Sena has yet again questioned the feasibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bullet train project citing a spate of train derailments over the past few weeks that has raised concerns over the safety of trains.

The attack was launched on a day when PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone of India's first bullet train project in Ahmedabad. Arguments along these lines formed a part of a very heated debate on the need for a bullet train. The party also attacked the government for its failure to bail out debt ridden farmers and giving more importance to infrastructure projects.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said his party was not against any development project, "but the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project is not economically viable".

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The Congress leader said there were three lakh vancancies in the Indian Railways of which there were 1,42,000 vacancies on the safety side, which needed to be filled first. "Is the bullet train a project of national importance for which such a huge amount is being spent to cover the 508-km distance at 350-kmph speed?" the Sena demanded.

Japan is a pioneer in high-speed rail transport and some of their trains are ranked among the fastest in the world.

Mr Modi and Mr Abe are expected to sign several agreements during the visit, and also inaugurate a Japanese industrial park.

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The opposition Congress, too, mounted a scalding offensive against Modi, saying the launch of the venture ahead of the Gujarat election followed a pattern of the prime minister announcing economic packages and projects before state polls.

This number will be probably come down to just 10% after the introduction of bullet train on this route. "The Government should take care of that", said Bharat.

Congress spokesperson RPN Singh alleged that the BJP government was ignoring railway safety even though 259 passengers have been killed and 973 injured in 29 major railway accidents since the Modi dispensation assumed office.

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Kharge also listed four high-speed train projects the UPA government had been planning since 2005 - Chennai-Bangalore-Mumbai, Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Delhi, Ludhiana-Amritsar-Kolkata and Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Pune via Thane trains.

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